Skip to main content
10:00 pm
country and we'll see you again next time. they started as a happy blend family, mom and her kids, dad and his. then, he disappeared, seemingly left his wife and his heartbroken young children. >> the person you thought you were closest to in the whole world had turned and walked away. >> is that really what happened? one child knew the truth. >> it will burn in my memory. >> knew what she was made to do. >> he swore me to secrecy, made me promise. >> a dark deed kept secret 27 years. >> you just stuff it deep inside and try to be normal.
10:01 pm
>> we halve secrets. >> i was going to have to betray her. >> but not like this. >> the family secret. >> thanks for joining us. i'm ann curry. the story we're bringing you now centers on a mother an daughter locked in a struggle over a dark secret closely guarded for 27 years. the terrible truth was only unleashed when one of them could no longer live a lie. here's keith morrison. >> it was the little girl who learned it first, the 12-year-old. she, who was there at the beginning, when the family secret was born. >> why did it get started? >> i honestly didn't know what else to do. >> why did she keep it so long. >> she was all i had. >> while it did its evil work. >> to think he had walked away.
10:02 pm
we couldn't even stand it. >> what would that secret do? >> everybody has a secret or two, but this? >> ah, yes, family, i suppose you could say this one, the family, if not the secret, got started in the middle of nowhere, which is what they like to call it here in an ainsworth, nebraska. it wasn't so surprising perhaps when young lloyd worth got out of school, the sailed off, joined the nave stroi see the world on an aircraft carrier, this man in the center of a secret. sandy burke is his eldest daughter. >> my dad was just a fun guy. he was very fun loving. he loved people. people loved him. people tended to gravitate towards my dad. >> especially women. that was not a secret. when lloyd went back to little ainsworth after his stint in the
10:03 pm
navy, one of the hometown girls caught his eye at the county fair. before long, they were married and that's how sandy came along and her little sister, pamela, who loved-hour dad, but apparently wasn't the only one. >> all of the women around here had huge crushes on him and his brother. i've always heard he had to have a woman in his life. >> when lloyd and his wife took their little family out west, it was, so they say, to get away from some other woman. anyway, that's where little tommy was born and lloyd learned to be a real family man. >> he loved fishing. he would take us fishing and we'd bring strings of fish home or sometimes we'd bring no fish home. >> we usually had them for breakfast. people look at me and say, you had pancakes and trout? morning, noon and night, when you went camping with dad, pancakes and trout. >> he would love to have us with him. we'd get down on the floor and crawl all over him.
10:04 pm
>> then, well, the kids are always the last to know what happened or why. but it wasn't long before their mom suddenly packed them up and headed back to nebraska. >> a lot of times in divorces, a child will take one side or the other and i took my mom's. my dad was the bad guy, my dad did something to make my mom leave. >> they loved him still, of course, even when he started courting the new woman, judy, twice divorced, three koifds her own, including kimberly, judy's only daughter, who all in all was happier on those rare occasions when there was no man around her mother. >> i personally liked it best when it was just her, the boys and i. no husband, because her attention would focus. >> you'd lose her? >> yeah. >> when a new man came along, what was she like with that person? >> they were "it." we still got fed and taken care
10:05 pm
of and the norm, you know. but it was all about them. >> and in 1973, it was all about lloyd. they married and then divorced, and then remarried. and tried to pretend their brady brunch life at this very house in clark street, in boise, idaho. lloyd drove long haul truck, judy styled hair. they joined the shriners, went bowling, planned fishing trips. lloyd's youngest, tommy, lived with him and his step-mom but pamela stayed with her mother in nebraska and rarely visited. in 1980, sandy was 20 and off in college. but, still, as always, called lloyd every week, until the day judy answered the phone. >> and when i first called, judy told me he was away on business. so i called back a few days later. she said, oh, no, he isn't home yet.
10:06 pm
i said, that's funny because he's usually gone only two or three days and he'll be back. i called the next week and he still wasn't home. and i called my mom. so i think that my mom called out to judy and she said, well, the truth was she thought that lloyd had ran off with another woman, and she didn't think he was coming back. >> days wept by, then weeks. no word from their dad. at the end of the school year, tommy's step-mom sent him back to nebraska to live with his birth family. >> it was hard. i mean, my dad, for tom and i, especially, he was everything to us. >> and you thought he loved you. and now it seemed perhaps he didn't even care. >> you know, when we first heard, i think we really believed he'd be back. if he left judy, he would be back to get us. >> that summer, lloyd's father hired a private investigator. >> your father's father assumed
10:07 pm
that he abandoned him, too, and everybody? >> very hard on my grandfather. my grandfather would come in almost every week to give me updates on had we heard anything the detective hadn't found anything, he was following leads but nothing was coming up. >> they heard stories, he moved to michigan, he boarded a plane and never made his connection, even a story that he was on mt. st. helens when it erupted. sandy and her sister, pam, longed for answer, a phone call even, but there was nothing. where was their father? whatever happened to lloyd ford? here's a hint. sandy didn't know the family secret, nor did pam, but kimberly did. she knew all about it. where lloyd went and why. because she was there. but if she revealed it, would
10:08 pm
anyone even believe the chilling tale she'd carried and hidden for so long? coming up -- >> i spent my whole life waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know. >> and here it was. >> the secret slips out. >> i knew that he'd do t ♪ i thought it was over here... ♪ [car horn honks] our outback always gets us there... ... sometimes it just takes us a little longer to get back. ♪
10:09 pm
10:10 pm
10:11 pm
the sad thing about a family secret is all the pain that has to trail behind. when lloyd ford dropped off his family radar back in 1980 and left them all for some other woman or some other wife or whatever it was, the children of his first marriage felt utterly abandoned, devastated. >> the ground you stand on
10:12 pm
doesn't seem stable anymore because every single thing we had dealt our trust and security in was gone. on top of that, to be told that my father purposely left us without a word, did we do something? i mean, are we not lovable enough? did we do something terrible? >> no. but someone did. though these sisters couldn't know the answer to their decades of questions might involve the complicated relationships in lloyd's new family, particularly between a mother and daughter, between judy and her daughter, kimberly, little kim, nervous, needy, desperate to be perfect. >> how does a little girl attempt to be perfect for her mother? >> she tries not to make her mad, you know. these things that i know would make her happy, clean the house. we all worked in the yard. everything had to be just so.
10:13 pm
so it looked nice when somebody came over, so it would look normal. >> and if it did, the love could be so good, so warm,enveloping, happy. if only the fury could be kept at bay. >> you learned to read her moods? >> oh, yeah, really well. if she wasn't in a good mood, we stayed gone. out of the house. >> because? >> you didn't want to see her upset. >> that, said kim, was the woman her children knew her so intimately. not like the judy who presented herself one way or another to the outside world. >> she was different for everybody. to a newcomer or her friends, she's a very loving, giving person. but what they didn't see was she would do whatever it took to get what she wanted. >> you saw this happening when you were a little kid? >> sure.
10:14 pm
she knows in a certain situation what she needs to say, i should laugh here or maybe i should cry. >> watching this, said kim, she knew very well that love, one moment to the next, could be given or withdrawn. >> she was the one we feared. we did as we were told. >> if she wanted to y ed ted yo something and you didn't do it -- >> oh, no, we never did that. never. didn't want to rock the boat, you know. i was so afraid she was going to leave. >> and thus, it was abandonment kim feared, when her mother brought men home. >> she was all i had. >> because it was changing all the time, all these men would come with different lives, into your life, and go again, you had her. >> right. >> anyway, judy stayed put. it was lloyd who would not be sticking around. after her husband seemed to
10:15 pm
disappear off the face of the earth, judy filed for divorce. when lloyd didn't show up at the hearing, judy got everything. jim remembers a rainy afternoon, when her mother pawned off their wedding ring. she remarried a man named tom goth. life went on. a quarter century passed. by 2007, kim was 40. the single mother of two teenagers of her own, still held in her own mother's emotional web, but unspoken guilt increasingly clouded her mood, even at work. this was her boss, gary ziegler. >> what did she seem like to you? >> always seemed like she was carrying something deep down inside her, some kind of baggage. dumped, couldn't put my finger on it for a long time. >> gary had, what would you call it? antenna for these things.
10:16 pm
>> he had called me to come have a cup of coffee with him. he could read me really well. he's like, what's wrong. i fell apart. >> told him the whole thing? >> told him everything. >> that's how the family secret, contained for more than 20 years, was leaked for the first time, to an outsider, who listened in something like disbelief. >> everybody has a secret or two, but this? i deliberated for days before telling anybody. >> you decided not keep the secret? >> correct. i knew the way i was raised, i needed to do the right thing. >> gary called the prosecutor's office, which called the boise police department, which opened an investigation into lloyd's long ago departure. a 27-year-old disappearance, a case they never knew existed. but they certainly did now. that's how, one day, the cops showed up on kim's doorstep. >> i spent my whole life waiting
10:17 pm
for the other shoe to drop. you know. >> and here it was. coming up, what was it about lloyd's disappearance? >> she say, how would you like it if lloyd was gone? i'm thinking, there's no way she would do it. [ female announcer ] we know jerry brown was mayor of oakland, but what were the results? fact: brown promised to improve schools. but the drop out rate increased 50%, and the state had to take over the schools. fact: the city controller found employees paid for 22,000 hours... they never worked. fact: brown promised to cut crime. but murders doubled, making oakland the 4th most dangerous city in america. jerry brown. he just can't deliver the results california needs now.
10:18 pm
'cause i'm a papa bear. you -- look at you, mr. high-tech hollywood, with all your high-tech gizmos. it's how i roll. you roll like a dinosaur with that tiny interest rate. try new school banking at your savings will be earning three times the national average. hmm. you gotta stop earning zippo, t-rex! get a higher rate, pterodactyl. interest plus savings at three times the national average. go to what's in your wallet? two spoons please!
10:19 pm
10:20 pm
10:21 pm
kimberly had a secret, a terrible unspeakable guilty family secret. she'd kept it, nursed it, cried about it for a quarter century, until finally, no longer able to hide the awful truth, she spilled it to her boss. now, she's about to tell us. >> it's real hard to face the truth. it almost killed me. >> it was late afternoon. spring was coming. it was 1980. lloyd was still around. the rest of the kids outside. kim was, as usual, trying to be the perfect little daughter, helping around the house. they were in the kitchen, kim says, when judely looked down at her and asked a very curious question. >> she was just cooking dinner and she says, how would you like
10:22 pm
it if lloyd wases gone? gone to a 12-year-old, going divorces divorces, moving out -- >> what did you think about all that. >> it was all right. >> kim was used to judy's uneven love life. divorce didn't sound like disaster. he lov she loved having her mother to herself. >> here's what her mother said to her. >> wouldn't it be nice if he wasn't here and we could be together, just you guys and me, and wouldn't that be nice. just like i always wanted it. >> then subtly, unmistakenly, said kim, her mother's idea changed. didn't sound like divorce after all. >> she made a list of all his faults and -- >> do you remember what you said? >> i never really questioned her. just sit there and let her talk. >> safer? >> yeah. >> this went on?
10:23 pm
>> a couple days, maybe a week. each day, it was a little more revealing. until finally, she just blurted it out, you know, what would you think if he was dead? >> did you think that that meant -- >> i thought like maybe he had cancer or he was sick. >> that maybe he was going to die and she was preparing you? >> yeah. i mean, you never know. >> but that was not what judy had in mind, said kim. soon, it was much clearer what she did intend. >> when she said, you know, what if i killed him? >> what if i killed him? >> right. she was being so vague. and i'm thinking, there's no way she'd do it. it was so surreal. who would do that? >> then that was the last that was said for a while or what? >> for a bit. and then she started going through scenarios. you know, what if i smothered him? what if i slit his throat. you're sitting there and you're
10:24 pm
like, why are you telling me this? >> she was 12, desperate for her mother's approval, which is why, she said, she muffled the silent voice in her head, that asked why she was being sent to the store to buy sleeping pills. >> when you went on that errand, did you have any notion what they were for? >> she sent to us the store all the time. >> later on, you saw her doing something with those sleeping pills? >> crunching them up. >> crunching them up? >> uh-huh. >> to a powder? >> uh-huh. >> kim watched judy prepare lloyd's favorite dessert. ice cream with butterscotch topping and watched judy mix in those sleeping pills and watched lloyd devour it. next morning, when the boys went off to school, judy kept him at home, so she knew her stepfather stayed in bed, saw her mother crush more pills in lloyd's coffee, in his soup, in more ice cream. later, said kim, she heard a racket behind the bedroom door.
10:25 pm
>> lloyd was trying to get out to go to the bathroom. and they had their fishing poles behind the door, and he had the hooks in his hands. >> oh. >> yeah. i don't even know that he felt the pain, but he was sitting all tangled up and he was mumbling. the only thing i understood was lloyd had said, what in the hell is wrong with me? and he kept falling into the wall and she's, you know, telling him, he's going to be fine, you know, you'll feel better soon. >> then, kim say, judy turned around to her, gave her another errand. >> i was told to go outside and get the trunk and clean it out. >> did you understand why you were doing it? >> i wasn't -- i think i was too afraid to comprehend what was going on. i was just living second to second doing what she was telling me to do. >> but she remembers, she said, clear as if it was this very morning, what happened when she dragged an old trunk back into
10:26 pm
the house. >> she had come out of the bedroom and she was standing there smoking. i was in the living room. and she just put it out and said, i'm ready. coming up, one moment of horror and a lifetime of pain. >> you just stuff it deep inside and try to be normal. >> reliving that fateful moment, when the family secret continues. [ son ] i'm a good son. dependable. i call my mom every week.
10:27 pm
10:28 pm
i even bought her a computer with my new citi forward card. then one day... have you seen this? she "friended" me. there's a whole album. [ laughs ] [ groans ] and started posting pictures. ♪ and tagging me. publicly. [ male announcer ] you ought to be rewarded for being dependable. the citi forward card gives you extra points for paying your bill on time and staying within your credit limit. [ woman ] nice tights. what's your story? the citi forward card can help you write it.
10:29 pm
10:30 pm
kimberly, 12 years old, saw her mother standing in the living room of their house on clark street in boise, idaho. behind the bedroom door, her stepfather was in stupor induced by the very sleeping pills kim said her mother sent her to buy. now, said kim, she heard her mother say, i'm ready. >> she told me to go in the bedroom, which i didn't like, because we weren't allowed in there. she had been in there prior, checking on him and what not, at some point, had put him on the floor, on a sheet. i really didn't know exactly how
10:31 pm
she was going to do it until i walked in and saw the gun at the end of the bed. and she went over and turned up the stereo really loud and she said it would cover the noise. first, she asked me to pull the trigger. >> she gave you the gun? >> no, no, she was holding it. >> she was holding the gun. >> pointed at him? >> right. >> where? >> in his chest. then she said, well, help me pull the trigger. i basically refused to do it. i started screaming at her, what do you want? what do you want from me? what do you want me to do? she said, just cover my ears. so i put my hands on either side of her and i closed my eyes really tight and she kept saying something, and it seemed like forever and i just screamed, i said, if you're going to do it, just do it. it was just a moment later, there was this loudest noise i
10:32 pm
ever heard in my life. and i ran out the backyard, into the alley. >> kim, cowered there, shaking and listening. >> i was horrified. i just sat there. i mean, i was crying and screaming and rocking back and forth. and listening. >> listening for what? >> for his voice, her voice, something. >> because you didn't think she had actually done it? >> i wasn't sure. maybe she missed, maybe he woke up, you know. there's a part of me that really wanted him to wake up. but i made my way back to the house. >> back to her mother. >> i think she hugged me, told me she loved me. >> that was supposed to make it okay? >> yeah. >> did it? yeah. what happened then? >> i had to go into the room.
10:33 pm
and the smell was still there. >> the smell of what? >> gunpowder. and i didn't look at him. i just grabbed the end of my sheet and did as i was told. >> the sheet he was lying on? >> pulled him down the hall. she had one end, ahead the other. he was too heavy, she was so heavy. >> this is where you got in close. >> i had to touch him. >> what did it feel like? >> he was still warm. >> but very obviously dead? >> yeah. >> but she was not finished then, not even close. her mother, she said, had another job for her. >> she said, well, we have to lift him up and put him in the trunk. i had to grab him under his legs. he was so heavy. and we got him in there and she said, shut the lid.
10:34 pm
close the latches. and we drug it out back and put it next to the house. >> out the door, on the porch? >> stacked some boxes on it. >> judy rented a carpet cleaner. kim helped her clean the blood off the floors, she scrubbed the blood off the wall, she made it look normal. >> but that trunk kept sitting there on the porch. what did she do with it? >> a couple days before she murdered him, she told the boys that we were going to plant a peachtree out back, to dig a big hole to put the tree in. and a few days after the murder, the hole filled in, no peachtree. she changed her mind. >> did you ever figure out how she got that trunk from the trunk from the morn to the hole and got it filled in?
10:35 pm
>> she had to ask my brother, shane. >> so now there are two people in on it, you and shane. did you talk to shane about it? >> not really. >> you're brother and sister, did the two of you say, my god, she just killed him and we're complicit? did that conversation ever happen? why not? >> we didn't talk about it. she swore me to secrecy, made me promise. >> there was more to the secret. judy, said kim, devised a cover story. and when she said it, it sounded true. >> she totally lived the, my husband left me for another woman. >> that was really believable. >> well, there was such a short time after lloyd left, lloyd was murdered -- >> funny how that stuck in your head, lloyd left because that was the fiction? >> that's what we had to say. >> kim stuffed it all inside, locked up the secret, kept her mother happy.
10:36 pm
but it wasn't over. a few months later, she said, judy had another job for kim and her brother, shane. couldn't leave a body in the backyard, said judy, they'd have to dig it up, move it. they buried it in an old trunk they had on the property back then. this one is still on the porch all these years later. out in the yard, they started digging. >> we had been digging for quite a while. we came to the drink, and it was falling apart. >> they looked at their mother. what should they do? >> and she was just so cold and matter of fact, grab what you can. as we started pulling it out, there was this horrendous smell. >> he hadn't disentigrated? >> not much. you could still see his tattoos on his arms. they had decided that it wasn't going to work, and to just rebury him. >> so he stayed there?
10:37 pm
>> he stayed. and you just stuff it deep inside. and try to be normal. >> but, of course, it wasn't normal at all. and over the years, said kim, it was only her conflicted ties to her mother, that powerful emotional glue that kept the two close and the secret horror bottled up. that and her mother's promise. hundreds and hundreds of time she said, i'll go turn myself in if it will make you better. >> she couldn't betray her mother, nor could anyone in the trail of secrets that grew and not just one. finally kim would learn what would happen to a taughter who disobeyed her mother. coming up --
10:38 pm
>> my first reaction was one of disbelief almost. >> the police have a job for kim, go under you're having
10:39 pm
10:40 pm
10:41 pm
sudden warning signs like dizziness, headaches, slurred speed or numbness could mean you're in trouble. act fast and call 911 at the first sign of stroke.
10:42 pm
kimberly was the keeper of an awful family secret, a secret she had never been able to tell her own step siblings, lloyd's children, that she had attended the murder of their father, so they knew nothing, nothing at all. in 1981, less than a year after lloyd's murder, judy got married again. life went on as before. 15 years after the murder, judy sold the house on clark street to her youngest son, kim's little brother, who moved in with his new wife, who learned about the secret and insisted, get rid of the body. now, kim, married, with two kids of her own, returned to that childhood home and told her siblings where to dig. snide to do show them where it was because nobody remembered. >> but you did? >> sure. it was still burned in my memory. >> kim's brothers and a cousin,
10:43 pm
dug up lloyd's remains, took them to a dumpster. the secret circle grew but kim loved her mother still and warned her, too, it was ever harder to keep silent. >> i guess i had made a deal with her, which was, i would never come right out and tell anybody. i told her that unless somebody asked me directly, because i won't lie, she didn't like that answer. so she'd always call and do a mental check on me, and then do her old standby promise, that she'll do the right thing. >> if and when the time came? >> right. >> but she didn't. and now, kim had told. and 27 years after the day she was her mother's little helper at murder, the police were at her door. detective brian lee. >> my first reaction was one of disbelief almost. really? could this have been kept quiet
10:44 pm
that long? >> what did she look like when she came to the door? >> i wouldn't say she was surprised, almost expecting, probably, that we were going to be there. >> so she told it again, relieved to be getting rid of it. then came the request she didn't expect. more than a request, really, she'd have to go undercover and record an incriminating phone call with her mother. >> what was that conversation like? >> that was so hard. i was going to have to betray her, to get what they would. >> hello. >> hey. how you doing? >> not much. >> here, as the call begins, they chatter for a bit, about nothing much. and then -- >> well, i want to talk to you about something and i won't bring it up again, but up here --
10:45 pm
anyway, i don't want to go against, but something i want to get clear in my head, not something i like to talk about. why did you pick me to help you kill lloyd? >> honey, i didn't. >> why was i there? >> i don't know. >> is that why your phone call? i'll call you back. >> the call was over, a failure. >> what did you think when you heard that? >> she was pretty keen. >> then judy called back. they pushed the record button. >> you know, i can't tell you the regrets i've had and i still have. i -- i -- i don't know that i can answer your question. i don't remember a whole lot of it. you know, we had talked.
10:46 pm
and i was trying to figure out how to get out of it, and i remember you just saying, get it, get it, get it. mom, i was 12. >> i know, kim. i know that. but i kept telling you what i was hearing, you know what i mean? it was like at that point, there was no turning back, i guess i felt like i was, you know, a hole i was trying to dig myself out of, a pit. i was in hell, i guess, i don't know. and i wanted you there with me. >> the police had what they needed. but judy wasn't finished. >> i guess the only thing i can tell you, kim, i love you more than i love life. i'm sorry that i failed you. i'm sorry you have to go through this. i know that doesn't even begin
10:47 pm
to help, but i'd lay down my life for you, if that means anything to you. >> i felt like i was going to die. i betrayed her. i betrayed my whole family. >> and now the police wanted more. >> they wanted me to go over to the house and show them where everything had happened. >> once again, point out the spot where he was buried. >> yeah. >> it was, of course, burned into her memory. >> for three day, the police dug up the past in the backyard on clark street. >> we had to go over and process that area, where we were told the body was. it was part of validating the story that kim told. >> so, was there anything left? >> we found fragments of bone on bone. >> seven bone fragments, all that was left of lloyd ford. police were able to determine, at least ten members of judy's
10:48 pm
family had helped keep the secret. >> in your experience, when that many people are aware of such a dark thing, does it stay hidden for very long? >> no. that's what was puzzling to us, how it was kept quiet for that long. >> it suggests a measure of control over those folks, which would be unusual? >> very much so. >> but the statute of limitations applied now. only one person could be held accountable. only judy. thus the law would insure kim's awful secret would be exposed in court, the crime revealed, justice served. but would it be justice or even the whole truth. kim had turned on judy, but this mother hadn't quite finished yet with her daughter. >> i know she was screaming, do it, do it, do it, just do it. coming up, judy tells her story, and there's one more twist in store. >> a b-a-c-c-a-l-a-u-r-e-a-t-e.
10:49 pm
baccalaureate. correct. [ audience groans ] since this competition has been continuing for 48 hours and we have yet to eliminate anyone, it is the decision of this board to declare all 20 contestants winners. you have all competed admirably. admirably. a-d-m-i-r-a-b-l-y. admirably. [ male announcer ] at&t is making high speed internet affordable for only $14.95 a month with select services. at&t. rethink possible. sometimes i would get rewards, sometimes i wouldn't. this one card i had -- there were all these rules. rules and restrictions. oh, and limits. [ scoffs ] forget about it. but i love this card. bankamericard cash rewards™ credit card. 1% cash back on everything i buy. period. no limit to the amount of cash back i can get. no hoops to jump through. simple. [ male announcer ] the refreshingly simple bankamericard cash rewards credit card. apply online or at a bank of america near you.
10:50 pm
10:51 pm
lloyd ford missed his children's birthdays, missed their graduations, their weddings. sandy burke's brother, tom, walked her down the aisle. lloyd missed all that because, or so his family was told, he'd
10:52 pm
left them all, just didn't care. >> just not having him there was really hard. but to think that he had walked away, we couldn't even stand it, to the point that my brother and i never had pictures of my dad out in the house. because if there's a picture there, someone will have to ask about your dad and you're going to have to admit the person you thought you were closest to in the whole world had just turned and walked away. where's your dad now? i don't know. >> but of course, it was all a lie, their father never left them. the truth, when police finally called to tell them -- >> it was just almost indescribable, to think he had been murdered the way he had been murdered, with absolutely no regard for human life. just treated like a piece of garbage. that was hard.
10:53 pm
>> yes. and then they discovered, lloyd's son, tom, had unknowingly dug their father's grave, when judy told him to dig a hole for a peachtree in the backyard. >> i think it's almost impossible to comprehend that type of evil. >> sandy watched as the police dug up what was left of their father, those seven bone fragments. they tried to understand how judy got her own children to help murder their father. >> my dad was the only dad these kids knew and yet somehow, she got these kids to participate in the murder, to bury the body, to dig up the body later that year. how do you get your kids to do something like that? where is your mind? of someone that would do something like that? >> on september 28th, 2007, judy goth, now a 61-year-old grandmother, took her dogs for a walk, and that's where police arrested her. when they took her downtown --
10:54 pm
>> she requested an attorney as we sat down. >> that was it? >> there was no interview. >> no surprise? >> not to me, really. she had 27 years to think about that decision. >> judy was charged with first-degree murder. that's when patrick orr of the idaho statesman began reporting the story. >> this is somebody who had no criminal record. her friends described her as a kind, loving person, somebody they trusted. there was a lot of confusion, there was a lot of shock. >> judy appeared before a judge, who determined she was not a risk and granted bail. six months later, her public defender went on the offense with a stunning claim. lloyd, she said, was an abuser. she killed him, she said, in defense of her life and her children. >> this is a woman who loves her family, did everything she can for her family. >> reporter, orr, spoke to judy's youngest son. >> he told me lloyd was abusive.
10:55 pm
>> lloyd, abusive? his own children were outraged at the accusation. >> that wasn't who my dad was. it was ludicrous to think anything was going on in nome with my dad and judy. >> no abuse? >> no abuse. nothing, absolutely nothing. >> but as the date for judy's trial approached, her claim lloyd was an abuser hit the papers, became big news around boise. would judy try a battered wife defense? lloyd's children furious and upset about what they considered vicious liable, bit their tongues when the prosecutor told them, don't say a word in your father's defense, the truth will come out at trial, except it didn't. the trial didn't happen. judy struck a deal. >> please state your name for the record. >> judy ray goth. >> to plead guilty to second degree murder and confess, though the confession wasn't quite the story her daughter, kim, remembered. >> i had a rifle. i was sitting on the edge of the
10:56 pm
bed and i had the gun across my lap. he was sitting on the floor by my dresser, kitty-corner from me. the gun went off. it was a terrible smell. and he was dead. >> when you say the gun went off, what do you mean by that? >> your honor, i must have pulled the trigger. >> then the judge asked about her daughter, kim's role in the murder. >> so had you talked to your daughter about killing your husband? >> you know, she said that i did. i don't really recall that part. >> did you call your daughter to come into the room? >> i don't think so. i don't know why she was there. i know she was screaming, do it, do it, do it, just do it. >> was she now accusing kim here in court? was she blaming her own daughter somehow? >> for the past 30 years, she's telling you, i'll do the right thing, if it will make you
10:57 pm
better, i love you that much. when zero hour came -- >> she threw you under a bus? >> yeah. she left me there. >> so the emotion is what? abandonment? >> sure. >> you're still that little girl who's trying so hard to make her mom happy. >> that's one of the last pieces of my puzzle i'm working on, abandonment. >> abandonment is a family issue apparently. lloyd's first family struggled with it for 27 years until they discovered he didn't leave them at all. now that they ached to defend him from a charge they believed to be a cruel lie, they could not, not without a trial. had the prosecutor abandoned them now? why was it so important to you to see this go to trial? >> this was my dad. this was the only thing we could do for him. we felt the truth would come out, give him back his reputation. she had taken his life.
10:58 pm
then she has to take his reputation, too? >> hi. i'm sondra kabreg. >> in 2009, lloyd's kids returned to idaho for judy goth's sentencing hearing. >> we sat through the whole sentencing and in the end, the judge acknowledged us six kids and judy as victims, never once mentioned my father. >> does it feel like justice? >> no. it feels like they wanted to get this case over with, that it wasn't important to them. >> chief deputy roger borne of the prosecutor's office defended the decision. >> we thought that going through a trial, where judy goth gets to take the stand and vilify their father for hours at a time would not be productive for them and not be productive for the people. the risk of course a jury could acquit her and that would be the worst thing t, from our standpoint, that would
10:59 pm
be the worst thing. >> the sentence, for drugging and killing lloyd, for having the kids bury him, dig him up, keep their awful secret? ten years in prison. she's there now. has declined our interview requests, and kim has written a book called, "unworthy, what would you do for your mother"? how do you feel about her now? >> i don't feel a whole lot about her now. she's dead to me. i don't mean that angry and bitter, because, then i'd be like her, but that's not my mom. my mom left a long time ago. >> the house on clark street sits empty. the backyard overgrown. the secret, the deadly secret

Dateline NBC
NBC September 12, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

News/Business. Investigative journalism. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Kim 18, Us 7, Sandy 5, Idaho 4, Boise 4, Nebraska 4, Lloyd Ford 4, Shane 3, Citi 3, At&t 2, Oakland 2, Pam 2, Lloyd 2, Sandy Burke 2, Kimberly 2, Jerry Brown 2, Brown 2, America 2, Us With Him 1, Zippo 1
Network NBC
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 80 (561 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 9/13/2010